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It all began on a Canada Day long weekend in 2005.  I had recently walked away from my totally toxic accounting job, where I worked 9 to 5 in a converted closet for a downtown Toronto boutique law firm.  I was looking to start something fresh and new.  I wasn’t sure that an accounting career was for me anymore, but I was already quite a few years deep into CGA (Certified General Accountant) training. I was also running HOTI (Hands of Time Inc.) a handmade hemp jewellery and accessories wholesale company, which I founded in 2003.  I definitely had a lot to think about.

My common-law husband (now The Ex) and I had tried to complete our PADI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diving Certification for almost a year.  Now that my schedule was wide open, the timing was perfect and luckily Aquarius Scuba Diving Center had two Canada Day weekend course openings.  Scuba diving always puts the world into a whole new perspective.  It’s exciting, exhilarating and truly adventurous.  There isn’t much marine life to see when diving in Tobermory, but there are some magnificent shipwrecks that are well preserved in the cold water.  As for nature above the water, Tobermory is vastly beautiful and Flowerpot Island is a must see.  And don't forget once you're there that Manitoulin Island is just a Chi-Cheemaun ferry ride away.

We booked our trip pretty last minute, but it worked out great because a new bed & breakfast had just opened in Lion’s Head.  It was a fabulous log cabin settled deep in the wilderness, completely away from it all.  The beach is serene and peaceful and the sunsets are just breathtaking.  If you love fish, the local white fish is a must try.  And if you’re into fishing off a boat, I hear that the fishing in the area is an anglers dream.

Its super cold water diving at some depths, and that means you really need to wear a double neoprene wetsuit in July.  Nothing compares to the freezing cold sensation of hitting a thermocline!  As you can guess, the coolest and most preserved wrecks are at the deeper depths.  It’s pretty tough to move around and take photos in all that gear and thick warm gloves are a must.  We didn’t get a lot of photos, but this one beside an anchor came out alright.

Photo of Faythe R. Pal, Tobermory 2005

After two days of scuba diving our certification was complete and we had one free day left to explore the land. The marina area is pretty sweet and very Canadian. There are adorable stores, ice cream shops, restaurants, pubs and the like. For those with a sweet tooth, The Sweet Shop has amazing fudge! There was one store in particular that caught my eye. It was at the end of the U shaped marina. It was completely purple and sold beads, jewellery and all kinds of crystals. It reminded me of all the HOTI parts and inventory sitting around my home.

I started thinking that I could do something kind of like that.  I had a lot of practical education and work experience and I was no stranger to retail.  I grew up around my father’s retail store Sparkles Jewellery Boutique and worked at the College Park location when I was 12.  When I was very young I spent many summers with my parents vending jewellery at carnivals, craft shows and fairs in Toronto, Niagara Falls and Hamilton.  I had enjoyed the two year spent creating and designing HOTI as that company fondly reminds me of my youth.  The idea of working from there and creating something much bigger had real appeal.  A vision was forming and for the first time in a while it felt like everything was going to fall into place.

To Be Continued…

Just like back in 2005, Sunshine on a Cloudy Day is currently a home based Canadian business operated in Toronto, Ontario by Faythe R. Pal.  Shop online on eBay and now here on Bigcommerce.  Sunshine on a Cloudy Day is built on Canadian pride and goodness, and on spreading smiles, fun and lots of sunshine.  We’re Spread Sunshine Everywhere.

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